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Saturday, 23 May 2015

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Ash sure new recruits can help Barrow AFC build on FA Trophy win

ASHLEY Hoskin believes more competition for places will help Barrow AFC build on their great comeback victory over Gateshead, when they take on Conference big guns Luton Town.

HAPPY Ashley Hoskin

The Bluebirds have brought in centre-half Danny O’Donnell and striker Danny L Rowe this month, and hope to add two more defenders and another forward – all boasting Football League experience – before the January transfer window closes tonight.

O’Donnell and Rowe were cup-tied for Tuesday night’s FA Trophy third round clash with Gateshead, which saw AFC trailing 2-1 with 15 minutes left, before a Matt Flynn strike and a Carl Magnay own goal earned them a 3-2 victory and a quarter-final date at Gainsborough Trinity on Tuesday.

Before that, Barrow have a tough assignment at Holker Street to think about against the Hatters – who thrashed AFC 6-1 at Kenilworth Road this month and knocked Premier League Norwich out of the FA Cup last weekend.

Assistant boss Hoskin was full of praise for the players after the Gateshead game, Barrow’s first since their shock 2-0 league triumph at Newport almost a fortnight ago.

“The never-say-die attitude that the lads have got has come through again and it’s a fantastic result for us,” said Dave Bayliss’s number two.

“It’s nice to get a game of football in, and it was a great game. The confidence and belief that we have tried to instill in the lads came out and they managed to turn it around.”

He added: “Me and Bayles know what we need and we’ve addressed that with bringing a centre half in (Danny O’Donnell) and we’ve brought a striker in, in Danny Rowe who scored a fantastic goal on his debut at Newport. They will be pushing in to come in against Luton on Saturday.

“We’re looking at another centre half so hopefully that will go through before the deadline. There’s another striker coming in hopefully, so we’re going to have competition for places which is great. The centre half we are looking at is Football League, the full-back is Football League and the striker has played in the Football League.”

While the relegation battle remains the priority for second-bottom Barrow, the club are now just one win away from a two-legged Trophy semi-final against Wrexham.

“Gainsborough are doing very well in their league,” said the former Barrow winger.

“But they are in the league below us and they are part-time, so we should be looking to go there and get a result.

“If we do that then we are in the semi-finals and anything can happen in a semi-final.”

He added: “You could see the relief the win brought tonight. Luck played a part, they scored an own goal, and sometimes that can happen and change the season.

“I’m so pleased for the fans, they have been fantastic. They’ve been to Wembley once in recent years (2010 when Barrow beat Stevenage 2-1) and if things go to plan and the way things are going in this competition, well you never know.”

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